Bastille Day in Paris: How to Get Through a Noisy Celebration of Partying and Firecrackers

Written by
Eric
  • 4 months ago

Yes, America celebrates its Independence Day as they günstige böller kaufen, but in Paris, France, partially because France has the famous “Tricolore” (or “tri-color” in French, which means three colors) flag of red, white and blue, which resembles the same colors as the United States’ flag (which also has the colors red, white, and blue), the same noisy contraptions there occur on Bastille Day, on July 14.

Bastille Day is the famous French holiday that celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789, when angry Parisians hated being under the old French Republic and are glamourized highly in such stories as “A Tale of Two Cities”, the famous novel by Charles Dickens, which caused enemies of the old Republic (e.g., Marie Antoinette) to be beheaded on the guillotine at the place known as the Place de la Bastille, which is now an open square in Paris in the 11th district (or “arrondissement”, as they say in French).

Amazingly, even though Bastille Day is the national holiday for the French mainland, not every part of France sets off fireworks on Bastille Day or several days before it. Montpellier, which is in the south of France, for instance, doesn’t usually shoot off firecrackers several days before Bastille Day. There may be some public firework displays in most French cities and towns far away from Paris on Bastille Day night, but outside Paris, Bastille Day celebrations are slightly laid back. But not in Paris itself.

The actual fireworks in Paris start on Bastille Day Eve, July 13. This is akin to New Year’s Eve in the United States, where revelers had been involved in the dangerous practice of using celebratory gunfire and fireworks a few hours before midnight and also after the stroke of midnight itself.

Some people are fascinated by fireworks that make noise, which most of them do….except the fusees and the sparklers. But regrettably, people can get scared by them or even injured by them.

A typical Chinese firecracker racks up about 140 decibels upon detonation. An M-80 blowing up racks about 170 decibels upon detonation.

The fireworks will usually start after sundown on July 13.

So avoid the following on Bastille Day Eve: entrances to any of the metro (or “subway”) stations and probably every part of the metro station itself, and almost all of the open streets that are not crowded by people. Also, avoid the Place de la Bastille (or “square of the Bastille”–or “Bastille square”) at all costs. This is where most of the firecrackers by Parisian celebrants of the holiday will be lit and detonated. Because of the acoustics of the metro stations, a firecracker exploding there will echo across the walls of the metros and will probably add 10-15 more decibels to the original explosion. Now that is scary!

The type of firecrackers they use is, regrettably, the ones that are usually illegal in some states of the United States. They are mainly Chinese firecrackers, colored red, and with no labeling at all. Bottle rockets and Roman candles are also popular too, as well as some of the M-series firecrackers as well (e.g., M-80s, M-60s, etc.). Some firecrackers are grouped together with string in groups of 50, 100, or 500, for the ultimate bang. Those firecracker groupings are usually set off around Chinese New Year in China.

Also avoid the poorer Parisian suburbs, especially Montreuil, not only on Bastille Day Eve but also on Bastille Day itself too. There seems to be an illegal fireworks trade in those suburbs due to excessive capitalism and the strong gap between the haves and the have-nots. Illegal fireworks to such people living in the suburbs are cheap because they are usually sold on the black market…..often with dangerous amounts of flash powder and other explosive elements.

And even if you are not afraid of the noise of the firecrackers, best to stay around the gay balls and gay dances around the firehouses in Paris that start around 12:01 a.m. of Bastille Day. Why? The revelers will focus more on the dancing and the music and slightly less on the desire to set off firecrackers…..even if

firecrackers are shot off outside the perimeter of the balls.

And if you have pets, particularly dogs that are not used to those loud noises, keep them at home for the whole holiday. A detonation will startle such dogs so much that they run wildly to the site of the explosion, which can lead to them being hit by cars or something similarly worse….which can sometimes have very injurious or even fatal results.

Amazingly, in central Paris, most celebrants would have used up all of the firecrackers, and things are rather quiet on Bastille Day morning because most of them will go along the Elysian Fields—the famous boulevard in Paris—for the famous Bastille Day parade. The noise would calm around 7:00 a.m. to about

9:00 a.m.

But be careful after the parade, which would end at about noon. More fireworks will be shot off by consumers (so that means more firecrackers) around the late afternoon leading up to the grand finale…..the grand finale which would be the official Bastille Day public fireworks displays around the 22nd hour (which would be equivalent to 10:00 p.m.) of July 14 usually near the Trocadero or near the Eiffel Tower or the Invalides, or all three places, or a combination of the three.

Whatever you do in Paris on Bastille Day, be prepared for a day of noise……..

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